Ibuprofen: Uses, side effects & contraindications!

Ibuprofen is a medication of the NSAID class of drugs used for pain management.


  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Muscle pain
  • Migraine
  • Pain after surgery
  • Inflammation
  • Dental pain
  • Painful menstruation
  • Osteoarthritis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Juvenile idiopathic arthritis
  • Pain arising from kidney stones
  • Pericarditis.


Dosage forms available:

  • Tablet: 200 mg, 400 mg, 600 mg, 800 mg
  • Chewable tablets for children: 100 mg
  • Capsule: 200 mg, 400 mg
  • IV solution: 800 mg/200 ml, 800 mg/8 ml
  • Oral suspension: 100 mg/5 ml
  • Oral drops for children: 50 mg/1.25 ml

Dosage guidelines:

  • Osteoarthritis pain: 200-400 mg tablets orally every 4-6 hours, depending on pain. Max: 1200 mg a day.
  • Dysmenorrhea: 200-400 mg tablets orally every 4-6 hours, depending on pain. Max: 1200 mg a day.
  • Pediatric dose for pain: In patients 1 year to less than 12 years age, 5 to 10 mg/kg orally every 6 to 8 hours as needed.

Missed dose: Take the missed dose as soon as you remember. Skip the missed dose if it is almost time for your next scheduled dose. Do not take extra medicine to make up the missed dose.

a) Administration of activated charcoal.
b) Dialysis and maintenance of hydration.


  • Abdominal pain
  • Acid or sour stomach
  • Belching & bloating
  • Cloudy urine
  • Decrease in amount of urine
  • Diarrhea/constipation
  • Excess air or gas in stomach or intestines
  • Heartburn & indigestion
  • Pain or discomfort in chest, upper stomach, or throat
  • Nausea
  • Noisy, rattling breathing
  • Rash with flat lesions or small raised lesions on the skin.


  • Esophagitis
  • Gastritis
  • Gastrointestinal bleeding
  • High blood pressure
  • Fluid retention
  • Anemia
  • Ringing in the ear
  • Vertigo
  • Increased risk of heart attack & stroke
  • Increased risk of erectile dysfunction
  • Kidney damageĀ 
  • Respiratory depression
  • Steven-Johnson Syndrome.


Ibuprofen is contraindicated & precaution is advised in patients with following conditions:

  • IBS
  • IBD like Crohn’s Disease & Ulcerative Colitis
  • Peptic ulcer
  • Hypertension
  • Diabetes
  • Kidney disease
  • Liver disease
  • History of cardiovascular diseases
  • CHD
  • Third trimester of pregnancy
  • Allergy to NSAID drugs
  • Dengue Fever
  • People who are alcohol dependent
  • Systemic Lupus
  • Connective tissue disorder.


  • Ibuprofen in presence of alcohol can increase the risk of GIT bleeding.
  • The effect of ARBII blockers & ACE inhibitors is reduced when in presence of ibuprofen & can contribute to renal impairment.
  • NSAID drug when given in combination with anticoagulant drugs like warfarin can double the risk of bleeding & prevent clotting.
  • Ibuprofen can reduce the efficiency of SSRIs in depression.
  • NSAIDs like ibuprofen can increase the serum concentration of digoxin.
  • Ibuprofen can interfere with the antiplatelet effect of low-dose aspirin, rendering it less effective when used for cardioprotection and stroke prevention.
  • Ibuprofen reduces kidney blood flow and therefore interfere & reduces efficiency of diuretic drugs.
  • NSAIDs can increase the serum concentration of methotrexate.


  • Pregnancy: Ibuprofen is not safe for use in early and later stages of pregnancy as it has potential for harmful effects to the fetus, & is also a potential cause for miscarriage.
  • Breast Feeding: Risk profile not completely established.
  • Children: Ibuprofen can be taken in proper low doses for specific conditions in children.